2016

Trump’s Action-Packed Week Previews a Wild Year Ahead
‘They would be impeachable offenses,’ Nadler says of campaign finance violations

President Donald Trump argues about border security with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on Dec. 11. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | Democratic hands in Washington spent the 2017 holiday season musing at cocktail parties about how little they would miss Donald Trump's first year in office, only to be shocked by an even more chaotic 2018.

Just wait until they see 2019.

Trump Breaks Silence on Cohen Sentencing, Returns to Mexico Wall Claim
‘I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,’ president claims

President Donald Trump talks to reporters before leaving the White House on a rainy day in October. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

As federal investigators appear to be moving closer and closer to his doorstep, President Donald Trump broke his silence on several new legal developments but he returned Thursday to his familiar contention that Mexico will pay for his southern border wall.

First on Wednesday, Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance violations that he said his former client ordered. Later in the day, prosecutors signaled that the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., had flipped, meaning the company and its executives are cooperating with federal officials.

No Chief Out of ‘Central Casting’ This Time for ‘Unmanageable’ Trump
President needs a Hill-savvy ‘trench warfare specialist,’ GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump arrives for meeting with the House Republican Conference at the Capitol on Nov. 16, 2017. Outgoing White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly trails behind his boss and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump had been in office just a few minutes when he boasted that John F. Kelly looked like a military general straight out of a Hollywood movie, but now the president is holding a likely extended casting call for a more loyal chief of staff — one who will immediately have to navigate a thicket of congressional and federal investigations. 

As Trump searches for what will be his third top aide in two years, Republican insiders see no frontrunner or even a clear list of candidates. But what they really cannot determine is who could coexist with a chief executive who rejects his staff’s attempts to manage him and his bombastic, norms-busting approach to the job.

Cohen Sentencing Casts Cloud Over Trump’s Chief of Staff Search
Former ‘fixer’ says he was just following his client’s orders with payments to women

Michael Cohen (center), former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building after a meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election on September 19, 2017. He since admitted to lying to lawmakers and was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The sentencing of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former “fixer” and personal attorney, could hang over the president’s search for a new White House chief of staff.

After all, on one of the counts that put Cohen in prison for three years, Cohen contends he was merely following his former client’s direction. And in an emotional statement in a New York courtroom Wednesday, Cohen blamed his actions on a “blind loyalty” to the president that he said “led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Lame-Duck Republican Sounds Off as GOP Downplays Trump Hush Payments
John Faso calls president’s campaign handling of Russia ‘height of stupidity’

Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No GOP lawmaker has been willing to say that President Donald Trump’s hush payments to a Playboy model and an adult film star rise to the level of an impeachable offense — but at least one lame-duck Republican sounded off on the president’s “reprehensible” actions and called Trump’s campaign team’s dealings with Russia the “height of stupidity.”

Rep. John Faso, who in the coming weeks will wrap up his first and only term representing New York’s 19th District, told the Daily Freeman in an interview Tuesday that while he doesn’t believe Trump broke campaign finance laws, that doesn’t entirely absolve him of morally questionable behavior.

3 Takeaways for Trump as Mueller Details Russia’s ‘Political Synergy’ Offer
Special counsel adds intrigue to House Democrats’ expected investigations of 2016 campaign

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on Friday from a trip to Kansas City without taking questions from reporters. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was watching television Friday evening when he reached for his phone after a subdued trip to Kansas City. Though federal court documents did not name him, he felt the need to declare his innocence.

“Totally clears the President. Thank you!” Trump wrote.

Why Trump’s Call for ‘Overwhelming Bipartisan’ Vote for Barr Seems Unlikely
Wyden: Bush 41-era AG holds ‘anti-democratic’ view that president is ‘effectively royalty’

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., flanked by other Senate Democrats, at a news conference in March. The two senators have voiced concerns about President Trump's pick, William Barr, to make his second run as attorney general. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Friday gave a full-throated endorsement to the president’s pick to fill the post, former Attorney General William Barr,  but Democratic senators and civil rights advocates are sounding alarms.

William Barr “deserves” from the Senate “overwhelming bipartisan support,” Trump said while addressing a law enforcement conference in Kansas City. “There’s no one more capable or qualified for this position,” he claimed.

Trump Lashes Out at Mueller Ahead of Potentially Damaging Court Filings
Special counsel, federal prosecutors set to release documents on Manafort, Cohen

President Donald Trump lashed out at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III just hours before he is slated to show some cards in his Russia probe that could damage the president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:55 a.m. | President Donald Trump launched what amounted to a preemptive strike in his fight to shape public opinion about Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe just hours before the special counsel is expected to release telling documents about his findings.

Trump's approval rating is back around 40 percent and could take a further hit when the documents are released if they show Mueller and other federal prosecutors are turning their sights on him. Legal experts have said in recent days that as more and more evidence comes out in official documents, the more it appears Mueller and others are looking hard at “Individual 1,” legal parlance they say clearly refers to Trump.

Trump Presence Felt During Poignant Moments of Bush 41’s Funeral
Hillary Clinton ignores president before George W. Bush’s emotional eulogy for father

Former presidents, vice presidents, first ladies and President Donald Trump attend the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral on Wednesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, by design, was not about the sitting commander in chief, but there were moments when Donald Trump’s presence was paramount.

The 41st president’s son, George W. Bush, never mentioned the 45th president by name during his humorous and emotional eulogy for his father. But there were moments during his remarks that made clear the deep differences between the elder Bush and Trump.

Trump Joins ‘Presidents Club’ at Bush Funeral. Awkward Moments Follow
45th president face-to-face with past chief executives, 2016 foe he has harshly criticized

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as they join other former presidents and vice presidents and their spouses for the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In one of the most-anticipated political moments in some time, President Donald Trump took his place in the front row alongside the “Presidents Club” at George H.W. Bush’s state funeral. The first ladies joined their husbands — but Hillary Clinton did not seem impressed.

The scene put Trump face-to-face with his 2016 general election foe (Hillary Clinton) and several former presidents whom he has sharply criticized since even before he announced his candidacy in 2015. Trump was one of the biggest pushers of the “birther” movement that led then-President Barack Obama to release his long-form birth certificate. The incumbent still regularly pans Obama and Hillary Clinton.